October 20, 2006

Contrapuntal harmonies of life.

The disease, then the cure or is it just maintenance. A life lived or a life made poor from the cure. I have been rescued from death by modern technology. Had I live earlier in the 20th century, I would be dead. The question is; how do I live a full life when the cost of what I want to do is sucked up by medical bills. I am not the volunteering type, I don’t get thrills from long walks in the park and there aren’t that many things free that interest me. In managing the cure there are many co-pays for visits and ever changing medication. It pains me when I have to throw out medication, some time hundreds of dollars worth. That is only the co-pays. If I had to pay retail for my yearly medication it would come close to ten thousands dollars. As it is I have to pay around 20 percent. Maybe to some that would not be much money, but it is to me. That is more money I could save and use for a few extra things I would like to do.

What gets me; is that when life saving measures are offered, you are not told the true cost. Only that you can refuse treatment. Are you going to turn down treatment? You may not be in a physical condition to be able to make that decision and so you are saved. Later you may have to make a choice between medication and eating. You can live a very long time on maintenance, what happens when you run out of resources. Anybody telling you that the government will take up the slack is wrong. You lifestyle will have to diminish. It could diminish to the point of have no life at all; cheapest rental, light meals, wearing too many clothes in winter and possibly suffering heat stroke in summer. Most income going to the maintenance of the cure. Tell anyone to “go to hell,” if they suggest you should have planed better.

In the earlier stage of my illness, I realized that no matter what, I still had to work. I had just recently bought a house and I didn’t want to give that up. I kept hearing from people, why don’t you go out on disability. The healthcare system supports that too. I am thinking how does anyone pay their bills like that, I can’t? I am too young to be staring at concrete block walls that they have in a lot of subsidize apartments. I had to continually fight Medicare (since I had end stage renal disease I was eligible) and my employee insurance about whose going to pay what. Another irony, since I was working I was still paying for Medicare with a payroll deduction and writing them a check too. I could not slack off because I would have paid more. Now one of my activities is to deal with health care. There is a struggle for it not to become your life. In the meantime, while those of us that have been saved or have health issues that are being managed; we are not considered in the healthcare debate. Healthcare has now become a debate over political philosophy rather than about the sickness and wellness. While others debate, we continue to study cope with the opposing changes in harmonies of our lives.

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